Happy Labor Day. Here are your Miami Hurricanes News and Notes for September 4th:
Miami opens 2017 season with win over Bethune Cookman
It was the result we expected, but with a couple unexpected bumps along the way, as Miami beat Bethune Cookman 41-13.
Dive into our commentary and analysis from the game:
1-0 and onward we go.
WE GOT CUBAN LINKS!!
Bigger than any player and their performance was the social media stardom of Miami’s newest trophy: the Turnover Chain!
When Malik Young was seen being bequeathed with the gigantic (AND REAL) Cuban Link chain after making an interception, social media went crazy. Here’s a clip from the game broadcast detailing the new Miami swag:
After the game, coaches and players alike spoke about the Chain. Mark Richt laughed and said that it was the brainchild of Defensive Coordinator Manny Diaz. Shaq Quarterman said the defense found out about the chain — which is to be awarded to any player who creates a turnover — at Miami’s morning meeting before the game.
Freshman S Amari Carter also got to wear the chain after making his first huge hit of his Miami career:
You’ll be hard pressed to find a person or media outlet who hasn’t talked about the Turnover Chain. Just further proof that The U is a national brand, and what we do matters.
Canes travel to Arkansas State next
Next up on the schedule: an Arkansas State team who took Nebraska down to the wire before losing 43-36.
Everybody has been calling this a “trap game”. I disagree. It’s been well known that ArkSt has an uptempo passing-heavy offense that can challenge defenses. There isn’t anything that is unknown here. The mark of a good or great team is focusing on every game, and that will be the goal for Miami this week.
That’s the quick snapshot, but we’ll have plenty of commentary and analysis leading up to the game this week.
And, ICYMI, Miami at Arkansas State kicks off at 3:30pm on ESPNU this Saturday.
Florida State QB Deondre Francois out for the year
In a potentially huge development, FSU QB Deondre Francois sustained a torn patella tendon late in the Seminoles’ game vs Alabama and will miss the entire 2017 season.
This could be huge for the Seminoles. Yes, they have talent at the skill positions. Yes, they have a deep and dominant defense. But losing their QB could change things on offense, which could have a trickle down effect. Or not. We’ll see.
Immediately following the game, FSU coach Jimbo Fisher said that true freshman QB James Blackman would be the guy going forward if Francois was injured. Now that Francois is confirmed to be out for the year, it’s Blackman’s team.
I wrote about Blackman as a recruit, and here’s what I had to say:
A tall and thin player at 6'5" 165lbs, Blackman is an intriguing player at the trigger position in this class. He might be the epitome of "boom or bust". Because of this, he would be a great candidate for the QB2 spot in someone's class, if they have room for one. [note: Blackman was, in fact, QB2 in FSU’s recruiting class]
Blackman's arm talent is elite, maybe the best of the group listed today. He's got a 75 arm on the baseball scale, but could use refinement in his mechanics and footwork. Blackman's height helps him push the ball vertically down the field, and that could become the staple of his game moving forward. His ceiling might be the highest of any player on this list, but it's going to take a good bit of time and refinement to get there.
If you look at Blackman in parts, you could have a 5-star (arm/height), a 4-star (stats/on-field production), a 3-star (mechanics/footwork), or a 2-star (physical development). This means he could be a career scout team player...or an All-Conference player. In short, the variance for Blackman's future performance is BY FAR the greatest of any player Miami is engaged with at the QB position. In any event, you can see his HUDL highlights and judge the components, or the whole package, for yourself.
Be assured of this: James Blackman is still an unfinished product at QB, but he can throw the ball with the best of them.
We’ll talk more about him next week, which is Florida State week, if you didn’t know.
Other Miami-centric links
Christy Cabrera-Chirinos of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel wrote about Miami’s emerging RB2, Travis Homer
Susan Miller Degnan of the Miami Herald wrote about Rosier, ArkSt, and the Turnover Chain
That’s it for today.
On to Arkansas State we go.